Address: 100 Dexter Ave N, 98109
Seattle Parks and Recreation Information:
(206) 684-4075 | Contact Us
TTY Phone: (206) 233-1509
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4 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.
ABOUT THE PARK
A peaceful green island in a sea of traffic, Denny Park lies on the central business district's northern fringe, and is surrounded by major thoroughfares. Broad pathways planted with rhododendrons and azaleas lead to a central circle…thick crowned maples, pines, and other trees shield the grass and its sprawling occupants from city noises until it's time to return to the working world.
The central offices of the Parks Department are at the west end of the park.
(Excerpt from Brandt Morgan's Enjoying Seattle's Parks)
Denny Park lies on pioneer David Denny’s land claim, and was first donated to the City by Denny and his wife in 1864 as a cemetery. In 1883 the Dennys drew up a new deed rededicating most of the cemetery property to become a public park with the gravesites to be removed at the City’s expense. Ordinance 571, approved by the Common Council of the City and Mayor H.G. Struve on July 10 1883, converted, dedicated, and set apart the land donated by Denny as a public park.
In 1894, due to the surrounding increase in urbanization, plans were prepared for improvement of the park. Included in the plans were walks, lawn and planting areas, tool sheds along the north side, a fountain and pavilions with restrooms. By 1903 the park was in the midst of a residential area so it was replanted in formal design, a shelter and tool house were added, swings, teeter-totters, and a sand court and playfield were installed.
In 1910 a regrading of the downtown area was threatening Denny Park. Despite pioneers’ demands that the park remain as an early day landmark, by 1930 Denny Park was flat. A cupola from the recent Denny School was placed in the park as a historical relic. A new formal plan was prepared by the Parks and Recreation Department, and new planting was placed and new restrooms were built.
In 1948, because of the Parks and Recreation Department’s growth in staff (including the new position of Park Superintendent) and stature, a permanent Administration Building (before the department had moved around in rented offices) was built, despite the objections of the Denny family, on Denny Park. The building was designed by Young and Richardson, Architects, and won the AIA Grand Honor Award.
(edited from the files of Don Sherwood, Park Historian, 1916-1981.)
To learn more about Seattle Parks and Recreation,
including historic landmarks, military base reuse, and the Sherwood History
Files, view our Park History
a trip to Denny Park
From I-5 S
- Take the Steward St. exit (exit #166 ) towards Denny Way
- Bear Right on Steward St
- Turn Right on Denny Way
- Go down the hill for 7 blocks
- you will see Denny Park on your right
From I-5 N
- Take the Seneca St. exit (#165)
- Bear Left on Seneca St.
- Turn Right on 4th Ave.
- Turn Right on Vine St
- Turn Right on Denny Way
- You will see Denny Park on your left
- Turn Right on Thomas St
- Turn Right on Dexter Ave N
- Take the Denny Exit off 99S
- Turn Left on Denny.
- The park will be on your left.